Reviewer:Christine Hennig -
April 30, 2006 Subject:
My Cab Driver May Think I'm a Hood, and the Cleaning Lady May Think I'm a Murderer, but My Mother Still Thinks I'm a Good Boy
Hokey TV-drama-turned-educational-film in which we see a rather incriminating scene of an artist and an unconscious woman, with signs of a struggle in the room. Then we get to see the artists day from the perspective of a bunch of different people who have contact with him, and those perspectives frankly dont make him look much better, though it doesnt make the sources look very reliable either. Then we get to see the artists perspective, and it all turns out to be a lot more innocent than the other witnesses made it seem. The overall message about multiple perspectives is valid, but so obviously and simplistically presented that it makes you want to scream. And the fact that the artists perspective is portrayed as the right one undercuts the message of the filmin fact, he is just as prone to bias and distortion in his perspective as any of the others. And we dont get to see the perspective of the drunk model, other than that she considers the artist to be a square. Considering that she was portrayed in the artists story as a drunken slut, thats not especially fair. Of course, this whole review is just a reflection of my perspective, and Ive been known to give snack bar promos featuring singing and dancing food 5 stars, so go figure.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
September 12, 2003 Subject:
What really happened was..
A vwey interesting film noirish piece which asks us to question ourselves when we see something and rushing to judgement about what happened. In this case, we see a case study of a painter and a model. Plenty of witnesses tell a tale about the painter but do they correspond to the original painter's story? I'm not really sure about why everyone has an axe to grind with the painter, but this was sort of fun, with good acting from Richard Conte, which I recognized from the Original Ocean's 11. Lots of fun, it's reccomended!
June 9, 2003 Subject:
Film noirish TV episode turned educational
Richard Conte and Martha Vickers star in what was originally a 1953 episode of an anthology TV series called "General Electric Theater" which at some point became an educational film (the print says it was distributed by the New York University Film Library). It's a RASHOMON type scenario about how different people see the same event differently, and it even starts with some Escher and Rohrsarch type diagrams. It starts with a shot of artist Conte--star of many great film noirs like THIEVES HIGHWAY, THE BIG COMBO and THE BROTHERS RICO, and years later the rival Don Barzini in THE GODFATHER--standing over the unmoving body of Vickers who is on a sofa, with paint spilled everywhere. The question then is what really happened and what did different people (like a maitre d, mother, taxi driver, landlord, cleaning lady, etc.) see leading up to the event, and how did they interpret it. Vickers is best known as playing the drug-addicted younger daughter of Lauren Bacall in Howard Hawks' classic adaptation of Raymond Chandler's THE BIG SLEEP, and her character here obviously plays off of public recognition for that role. Because of the cast, great acting, and well worth watching. (Brent Walker)